Clay McLaughlin was doing exceptionally well in luxury real estate at a prominent boutique firm when he answered Gary Keller’s personal call to join the Keller Williams family. A member of Elite 25 – a distinguished assembly of the top 0.2% of luxury agents in Austin, Texas – McLaughlin joined KW in May 2020. As he wraps his arms around all that KW can do to help him grow, he shares some of the go-to strategies he’s learned while serving luxury clients throughout his 15-year career.
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Tip #1 – Expand your depth of knowledge about your area’s luxury inventory.
One thing I latched onto when I was just starting out is how other agents knew the luxury inventory inside and out. They knew when a house sold, for how much, to whom, and what its strong features and drawbacks were. Since the luxury market is typically not very big, I recommend that you preview and tour every property that you can.
When you’re out with a client and they point out a house they like, you’ll be equipped to tell them all about it, some unique characteristics or concerns, establishing you as a luxury expert who has a well-informed opinion. This strategy is so important that I suggest if you can’t get in the houses, then spend time on the internet and online listings memorizing pictures and reading about each property’s specific characteristics. Property accessibility has also improved with the increase in virtual home tours.
Tip #2 – Curate a quality index of allied resources.
Develop a fine-tuned database and network of people you can call to help your clients when they have any issues with their home, no matter how big or how small. Whether they need a squirrel removed from the attic, help deciding between fiber or cable, which security system offers the best protection, or who the best landscaper or insurance agent is, when they think of anything to do with their house, you want them to think about you.
One thing I’ve learned quickly at Keller Williams is the power of leverage for our own businesses. The same is true about these clients; you, as their agent, are their leverage and their personal resource. You have to know what you’re talking about in order to build their trust, but once you earn it, the referrals and repeat sales are yours.
McLaughlin’s Top Allied Resources
- Landscaping professionals
- Contractors for home improvements
- Security professionals
- A/V professionals
Tip #3 – Be your clients’ concierge.
When you stay at the Four Seasons, the concierge is professional, dressed impeccably, extremely attentive, and very quiet. He or she anticipates your needs without overplaying their hand. They’ll help you with anything you need during your stay, but they are not going to hang out with you at the pool. You’ll help your clients with any and everything they need to expertly handle the purchasing or buying of a luxury property, but you’re their hired help, not their friend. While a true friendship may form, don’t confuse your role as that of a social peer.
Tip #4 – Move toward being portfolio based.
Portfolio based means more than selling expensive homes. It’s becoming a trusted fiduciary to help people expand their investments and portfolios. I’ve been working with my KW MAPS Coach to become even more intentional about what I’ve already been doing organically, which is not just to sell high-dollar homes, but to embody what it means to be a portfolio-based luxury agent who my clients see as their long-term solutions provider and strategic partner. I highly recommend getting a KW MAPS Coach to help you do the same.